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  • The Caribbean and Latin America

    Good neighbours: Caribbean students at the tertiary level of education

    UNESCO Institute for Statistics

    English, Dutch and French-speaking countries

  • Design : Maro Haas, Les Lilas

    Graphics : Visit-Graph, Boulogne-Billancourt

    Printed by : Société Edition Provence, Nîmes

    © UIS 2001

    The designation employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the UNESCO Secretariat concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of its authorities, or the delimitations of its frontiers or boundaries.

  • FO REW

    O RD

    The Caribbean and Latin America Good neighbours [ Foreword

    One of the key ways of meeting the challenges of the 21st century is toguarantee the benefits of education for all by ensuring that educationalsystems work in an equitable, efficient and effective manner. Educational statistics and indicators, which monitor trends and facilitate the critical assessment of policies, play a vital part in this process and they can provide valuable information for the formulation of sound policies. In this respect, governments are paying even greater attention to comparative policy analysis. Co-operation at the international level can help countries to identify ways in which access to education might be broadened, the quality of educational provision might be improved and more attention paid to improving learning outcomes. A comparative framework can also assist countries to manage their teaching and learning processes more effectively. In a number of countries these imperatives have resulted in renewed efforts to strengthen the collection and reporting of comparative education statistics and indicators.

    A significant role of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is to assist Member States to collect, analyse and disseminate internationally-comparable education indicators to inform these policy debates. Following its creation in 1999, the UIS has carried out far-reaching consultations with both national and international users and producers of education statistics in order to identify information needs and to develop a strategy to meet these needs.

    One part of this strategy has been the implementation of a re-designed data collection instrument, called Survey 2000, which aims to build a set of comparable cross-national education indicators. A series of twelve regional workshops were organized and led by UIS to consult educational experts (both statisticians and policy-makers) within Member States and to build better support for this global effort. These workshops also aimed to raise awareness of data collection methodologies and tools, such as the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), to provide a common framework for harmonising national education data. The workshops provided regional fora for the discussion of problems associated with data collection and management and the exploration of possible solutions.

    This report represents one of the first outcomes of this major effort. Not only are the indicators cited in this report based on data provided by countries, but the topics chosen also reflect some of the priority policy issues raised by national participants. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics would like to take this opportunity to thank these participants and their colleagues for their collaboration during this survey and also the staff of the United Nations Statistics and Population Divisions, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank for providing key supplementary data.

    Denise LIEVESLEY Director, UNESCO Institute for Statistics

  • CO N

    TEN TS

    The Caribbean and Latin America Good neighbours [ Contents




    1.1 Economy and labour market 10

    1.2 Human development 12

    1.3 Education reform 12


    2.1 Total enrolment 14

    2.2 Enrolment abroad - Caribbean tertiary students studying in other Caribbean countries 17

    2.3 Caribbean tertiary students studying in Canada, 1990 and 1998 21

    2.4 Tertiary students from outside the Caribbean studying in the Caribbean 22

    ANNEX 25

    Annex 1 - Glossary 27

    Annex 2A - ISCED97 30

    Annex 2B - Country mappings 32


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    The UNESCO Institute for Statistics initiated Survey 2000 as thefirst step in a long-term process in order to improve data qualityand standardise data collection in the field of education. As part of the Survey 2000 exercise, two groups were formed in the Latin America and Caribbean region. One group was composed of Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries and the other of English, Dutch and French-speaking countries. Consequently, the Caribbean countries Cuba and the Dominican Republic joined the Latin America group while Belize, Guyana, and Suriname from South and Central America joined the Caribbean group. Neither Martinique nor Guadeloupe, which are linked constitutionally with France, nor Puerto Rico which is linked with the United States, were included.

    Twenty-two countries participated in the initial Caribbean workshop held in Jamaica in July 2000 and the follow-up workshop held in Barbados in March 2001. These countries were Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands. For the purpose of this report this group of countries is referred to as the Caribbean region.

    In conducting the Caribbean Regional Workshops and in subsequent statistical capacity building efforts in the region, the UIS has co- operated with the Summit of the Americas Indicators (PRIE) Project and the Caribbean Regional Educational Management Information System (CREMIS) Project. Close collaboration among the three organisations has added significantly to the planning and implementation of the UIS programme in the region.

    Many of the issues identified during workshop presentations and discussions are being examined by the Summit of the Americas Indicators Project. However, it was noted during the discussions that participation in tertiary education programmes had not been identified by the PRIE Project for further analysis. Of particular concern was the apparent lack of information on the number of individuals studying at the tertiary level outside the Caribbean and therefore on the proportion of secondary school graduates who were able to proceed to higher levels of learning. As a result, this first UIS report for the Caribbean region seeks to provide a detailed account

    The Caribbean and Latin America Good neighbours[ Introduction


  • 7

    The Caribbean and Latin America Good neighbours [ Introduction

    IN TRO


    of the movement of students within and outside the Caribbean for the purpose of study at the tertiary level. It presents information from the first educational survey conducted by the UIS in the summer of 2000 using data from countries participating in the Caribbean workshops as well as comparable data from other countries.

    This report has two sections as follows:

    • Section 1 presents the main demographic, economic and social aspects of the region, including information on selected socio-economic indicators.

    • Section 2 examines tertiary level enrolment within the region as well as student flows to and from other countries. The enrolment of Caribbean students in one of the region’s major host countries, Canada, is examined in some detail.

    In the Annex, the grade structure of each country’s education system and how it is mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED97) is presented in diagrammatic form.

    Although this first report is limited in scope and content, it is published with the knowledge that the countries participating in the UIS Caribbean Regional Project along with the UIS, PRIE and CREMIS will continue to progress with the development of indicators and associated analyses. It is hoped that these efforts will help governments in the region implement improvements in their national systems and continue to develop education programmes that will help students of all ages achieve their full potential.

  • The data presented in this publication are gathered mainly from official national responses to Survey 2000 questionnaires on education statistics from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and cover the academic year beginning in 1998, unless otherwise specified. Although a few countries may have provided data for a different year, we have accepted all data as being estimates for 1998/99.

    While every effort has been made to compile the most up-to-date and reliable statistical information, it should be noted that all data are subject to differences within and among countries concerning definitions, accounting practices and recording methods.

    The data have been complemented as follows:

    • Foreign students in Barbados correspond to undergraduate registration at the Mona Campus as reported in: “The University of the West Indies: Official Statistics 1998/99”, prepared by the Office of Planning and Institutional Research, Mona Campus, Jamaica.

    • Statistics Canada provided t


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